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Jake Goodwin - Sept 02 2020

Material Warehouse - Phone (800) 567-5358
 Email: support @ 

Rubber Mulch 101: What is it, and Why it’s so

What is Recycled Rubber Mulch?

Most people have seen rubber mulch, whether on a playground, in someone’s yard, or in a garden. Why do people use this mulch though? Traditional wood mulch has been used for thousands of years and is proven to work well. Despite this, is there a good reason to move on from wood mulches to modern rubber mulch?

Rubber mulch is constructed from 100% recycled rubber tires and is widely used in landscapes and for playground surfaces. It has the highest fall rating of any playground surface, and when used for landscaping increases water flow and prevents mold.

These are just a few advantages of using these recycled tires as a replacement for traditional mulch. After seeing all that rubber mulch has to offer, you may start thinking, “Maybe it is time to move on from traditional wood mulches and go modern with rubber!”

How is Rubber Mulch Made?

Rubber mulch is made from recycled car tires. The way they go from tire to mulch is pretty interesting!

  • Find the Tires: Big or small, fat or skinny, really any rubber tire will work if you want to make rubber mulch!
  • Take out the steel bands: Leftover steel is removed and the rubber is run through a high powered magnet system twice to make sure all of the remnant abrasives are gone.
  • Shred it: The tires are then shredded by an industrial tire shredder so the mulch nuggets have a relatively uniform size.
  • Add color: Modern Rubber Mulch such as NuPlay or Groundsmart are specially sealed and color treated for long lasting pigment life that will not rub off or get you dirty.
  • The final step: After everything above is completed, the shredded tires are packaged and shipped off in bags by the 1-ton pallet, or into large 1-ton super sacks from the regional warehouses.

A lot of time and energy are put into this product to ensure that it is both safe and pleasing to the eyes.

Why Rubber Mulch is So Popular?

Rubber mulch is used mainly in playgrounds and for landscaping. Seeing the advantage they offer in both of these areas, it is no surprise that rubber mulch has become more and more popular.

Advantages offered for Playgrounds

Rubber mulch has a great advantage when used on playgrounds! Remember when playgrounds would use wood chips, grass, or sand for their ground-cover? Remember how, if you fell off the playground, there was a good chance that you would break a bone?

Well, the days of getting hurt because Jimmy pushed you off the playground may be over. Well, not completely over, but the damage from falls is not as bad as it was.

This is because rubber mulch is used to help cushion the impact of a fall and reduce the risk of broken bones and other injuries. Conducted test have shown that rubber mulch is better at breaking falls than other ground cover, such as bark/wood chips.

One thing you need to ensure though is that you get the right type of rubber mulch and that it is installed correctly. Not paying attention to these factors can result in a child getting hurt.

Advantages offered for Landscaping

You probably interested to see that rubber mulch is a viable option for landscaping!

Rubber mulch provides a plethora of advantages over traditional wood mulches. Here are some of the more standout advantages that any homeowner will love:

  • Insulation from heat: compared to traditional mulches, rubber mulch does a much better job of insulating the soil from heat.
  • Water washes through: Unlike other mulches, rubber mulch is not porous and does not absorb water. This benefits the moisture of the soil. This also helps to reduce fungus and weed growth since the rubber mulch will not provide the nutrients these need to grow. 
  • It lasts longer: One of the worst things about using wood mulch is having to re-mulch the yard a year or two later after it decomposes. This is challenging; both financially and physically. But rubber mulch does not need replacement nearly as often and, as a result, you save time and money. (Source)
  • Go away bugs: Rubber mulch does not attract insects, such as termites, since it is not a hospitable place for them to live.
  • Stays in place: Another annoying thing about traditional mulch is that, during heavy rains, it will sometimes float off into your yard, sidewalk, etc. and make a mess. But, rubber mulch is heavy enough that this will not happen and it will stay in place.

So, rubber mulch is a viable option for many people. Whether you are big into lawn care, or just want something that is low maintenance that will keep your flower beds looking nice, rubber mulch is the best choice for you!

Rubber Mulch is Worth the Investment.

One thing you may be concerned about is the price of rubber mulch as compared to traditional mulch. And, yes, rubber mulch does tend to be a bit more of an investment at first. But, don’t let this discourage you.

Rubber mulch nuggets last a lot longer than traditional wood chips, around 10+ years longer as the true color lifespan is around 12 years for most brands.

As a result, with traditional organic mulch you will probably end up spending more over the years with wood chips since you will have to replace them every 1-2 years.

Just know that it may take several years to realize the investment you've made with rubber mulch. In any case, though, you will be saving money in the long run, even though it may be hard to envision it at the moment.

NuPlay Rubber Mulch Bulk - Brown
NuPlay Rubber Mulch Bulk - Brown
Brown Rubber Mulch Sample NuPlay
playground rubber mulch brown
coverage depth chart for NuPlay rubber mulch
Nuplay Rubber Mulch IPEMA Certified ASTM F1292 & F3012 rating

NuPlay Rubber Mulch Bulk - Brown

NuPlay Rubber Mulch Bulk - Redwood
NuPlay Rubber Mulch Bulk - Redwood
Redwood Rubber Landscape Mulch NuPlay
NuPlay Rubber Mulch Bulk - Redwood
playground rubber mulch brown
NuPlay Rubber Mulch Bulk - Redwood
Nuplay Rubber Mulch IPEMA Certified ASTM F1292 & F3012 rating

NuPlay Rubber Mulch Bulk - Redwood

Black Rubber Mulch NuPlay nuggets
Black Rubber Mulch NuPlay nuggets
NuPlay Rubber Mulch Bulk - Black
Black Painted NuPlay Rubber Mulch
kid playing on black rubber mulch playground
playground rubber mulch brown
Nuplay Rubber Mulch IPEMA Certified ASTM F1292 & F3012 rating

NuPlay Rubber Mulch Bulk - Black


Rubber Mulch: A Great Product and Investment

Rubber mulch, which is made from recycled car tires, has gained more and more popularity over the years.

With a greater fall absorbency than wood mulch, children will be safer if they fall while playing on the playground. Also, its host of advantages as a environmentally conscious recycled product, thermal insulation, and long-lasting lifespan make it great product for any landscaper. Considering its advantages, it is not surprising that this mulch has become so popular.

Are you considering mulch for your next project and you're unsure of whether you should use rubber mulch nuggets, or traditional mulch?  Give us a call and speak with myself, or another of our landscaping product specialist and we'll be able to help. 

Jake Goodwin - Phone (800) 567-5358
Email: support